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Winter/Spring Brings Increased Meningitis Risk - Protect Preteens and Teens Now
Date:12/21/2009

ories.

"Parents need to know that meningococcal disease exists and that it can be prevented," said Linda Fryer. "After losing Adrienne, I made sure that my other daughter, Amanda, was vaccinated. I encourage parents to speak to your child's health care provider about meningococcal immunization."

Survivors may suffer permanent long-term effects

Of those who survive meningococcal disease, up to approximately 20 percent will suffer permanent long-term effects, including brain damage, hearing loss and limb amputations. Carl Buher is one such survivor. At 14, Carl lost both of his feet and three of his fingers to a bout with meningitis. He became ill with flu-like symptoms and developed a purple rash, a tell-tale sign of meningococcal disease. Following diagnosis, Carl was airlifted to a children's hospital where he battled the disease, which he would win only after the amputations.

"My parents almost lost their son to meningococcal disease, and I nearly lost my life," said Carl Buher. "Take advantage of this winter break and set up an appointment to speak to your family's health care provider about meningococcal vaccination."

Meningococcal disease is spread through air droplets and direct contact with those who are infected, such as through coughing or kissing. Certain lifestyle factors, such as dormitory-style living, prolonged close contact with large groups of other teens, irregular sleep patterns and active or passive smoking are thought to put preteens and teens at increased risk for the infection.

About NMA

The National Meningitis Association (NMA) is a nonprofit organization founded by parents whose children have died or live with permanent disabilities from meningococcal disease. Linda Fryer and over 50 other mothers across the country are part of NMA's Moms on Meningitis (M.O.M.s.) program, a coalition of mothers who educate others within their communities about the imp
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SOURCE National Meningitis Association
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